Earn Your Masters in Nursing - Leadership in Health Care Systems
Grand Canyon University’s Master of Science in Nursing degree program prepares nurses for leadership roles in today’s rapidly changing healthcare delivery systems. This program is an ideal avenue for current nurses who want to advance their career toward leadership and make a greater impact on the field at the management level. To meet expectations at this advanced level, nursing students will learn to synthesize elements of caring into the nurse-patient relationship—based on advocacy, as well as ethical, social, legal, political and historical perspectives. This program further addresses the importance of client empowerment with unconditional regard for all.
The Leadership in Health Care Systems emphasis portion of this program focuses on:
- Analyzing organizational behavior among individuals, teams and departments
- Developing strategies for implementing changes, leading diverse teams and fostering collaboration
- Applying financial management principles
- Generating data-driven, cost-effective solutions
- Leading in the improvement of care processes, outcomes and the patient experience
- Modeling leadership behaviors that motivate and inspire others
GCU’s MSN in Nursing with an Emphasis in Leadership in Health Care Systems meets standards set by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN): The leadership standards for this program will align with American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE).
The masters in nursing leadership in health care systems emphasis at GCU is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Select states may have additional requirements to meet their standards; reference your enrollment agreement or contact GCU for more information.
Advance Your Skills as a Nurse Leader with a Leadership in Healthcare Systems MSN Degree
This masters in nursing leadership is designed to incorporate the advanced roles of a clinician, researcher, learner, educator, coach, leader, community advocate, manager of systems, collaborator and consultant. Thus, students will possess a wide range of skills and expansive knowledge that prepares them to improve healthcare and patient outcomes from all aspects. Among the skill sets to adopt, clinical and organizational decision-making skills are required for a graduate-level nurse. These skills are developed through critical thinking, evidence-based research and diagnostic reasoning.
The MSN program’s curriculum consists of graduate nursing core and leadership courses, including leadership courses taken with Master of Science in Leadership (MSL) students. In the graduate nursing core courses, students gain the knowledge, values and skills necessary for advanced generalist nursing practice in an evolving healthcare system. The leadership coursework provides insight into how organizations function with a focus on financial and human resource management within healthcare. Leadership courses prepare master’s nursing students to meet the requirements of leaders in contemporary healthcare, which include skills in quality and performance improvement, effective communication and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Courses include an Evidence-Based Practice Project in which students address a problem in their area of professional practice, propose a solution and design an evaluation. The Leadership in Health Care Systems Practicum also provides students with the opportunity to apply what they learned to a contemporary, nursing leadership-related practicum experience. This practicum encourages the application of deep nursing knowledge, along with advanced critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Topics can range from quality/performance improvement or mentorship/coaching to interdisciplinary relationships or staff development.
What can you do with an MSN Leadership degree?
Master’s-prepared nurses may pursue the next step in their career as an advanced registered nurse, charge nurse, director of nursing or staff nurse. Graduates may also choose to move right into the DNP program to elevate their career and nursing expertise to the highest degree.
Graduates may also choose to pursue a Master of Business Administration in addition to the MSN program to develop business and management skills they can apply as leaders within the healthcare industry. For those who enroll in GCU’s MBA program after their MSN-L, two classes (MGT-605 and SYM-506) can be bypassed for faster graduation.
Program Core Courses
This course examines nursing theory and the role of ethics for advanced registered nurses within the Christian worldview and through a leadership perspective focused on improving health care outcomes. Students explore the moral/ethical responsibilities and legal and regulatory obligations of advanced registered nurses in health promotion and disease prevention. Students also review evidence-based practice (EBP) literature and the research process with application to their program of study and learn to navigate scholarly EBP literature, resources, and guidelines.
This course examines the role of leadership, organizational science, policy, and informatics in supporting safe, high quality, cost-effective patient care within interprofessional, dynamic health care environments. Students explore various organizational relationships within health care systems and prepare to participate in the design of cost-effective, innovative models of care delivery and practice change proposals. Professional leadership theories and how they shape the nurse leader in such things as collaboration, conflict resolution, decision making, and negotiation are introduced. Students discuss change management theories and evaluate the ethical, social, legal, economic, and political implications of practice change and health care informatics along with strategies for managing human, fiscal, and health care resources in a variety of organizational systems. Students also examine the uses of patient care, information system, and communication technologies and discuss the design, implementation, and evaluation of electronic health record systems and clinical decision support systems.
In this course, students examine the process of scientific inquiry, knowledge generation, utilization, and dissemination of evidence into advanced nursing practice in order to propose quality improvement initiatives that advance the delivery of safe, high-quality care for patient populations. Students critically evaluate evidence, including scientific findings from the biopsychosocial fields, epidemiology, biostatistics, genetics, and genomics, and apply levels of evidence and theoretical frameworks to design culturally appropriate clinical prevention interventions and population-based care that reduce risks, prevent disease, and promote health and well-being. Students also consider strategies to evaluate health policy and advocacy issues, the state of health care delivery, patient-centered care, and ethical principles related to health beliefs, health promotion, and risk reduction for diverse populations. Students apply these strategies to work towards recognizing gaps in nursing and health care knowledge, identifying potential solutions or innovations for those gaps, planning and implementing practice changes, and evaluating the outcomes in order to improve practice. Prerequisite: NUR-513.
This course provides an opportunity for students to complete their evidence-based practice (EBP) project proposal addressing a problem, issue, or concern in their specialty area of professional practice. Students previously identified a problem amenable to a research-based intervention and searched the literature. In this course, students propose a solution, explore implementation considerations and various evaluation methodologies, complete the project proposal by developing a plan to implement the solution into the intended practice area, and design an evaluation plan that assesses the EBP project proposal’s intended outcome(s). Prerequisite: NUR-550.
This course is an exploration of the behavioral forces and relationships that influence organizational effectiveness and change. Topics include the study of intervention strategy and application skills.
In this course, students study principles of health care financial management and the role of fiscal responsibility within health care organizations. Along with an overview of operational budgets, students delve into the key aspects of the economic drivers and financial requirements impacting organizations, including the financial demands and implications of specific health care delivery models, efficient staffing models, and the management of operational expenses. Students examine the challenges of aligning key financial performance indicators with safety and quality measures as required in the evolving health care industry.
This course examines models of performance and quality improvement in health care. Students differentiate measures of quality and learn to apply industry standard tools and process improvement methodology to enhance safety and positively impact patient outcomes and financial performance.
The effective strategic management of human capital is the differentiator of every successful organization. This course examines talent management, workforce diversity, succession planning, employee development and motivation, and performance matrix. This course addresses human resource competencies identified by the Society of HR Management (SHRM). Using the strong strategic HR acumen provided by this course, students will be well-prepared for positions as senior human resources specialists or as general managers. Also LDR-635.
This course provides students the opportunity to integrate what they have learned in the program in a practicum experience related to nursing leadership. Students are expected to integrate nursing knowledge and advanced critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in the development of a comprehensive project grounded in contemporary nursing leadership theory and practice. Students develop projects based on their interests and practicum placement that can incorporate a range of leadership issues, such as quality and performance improvement, mentorship and coaching, interdisciplinary relationships and collaboration, and staff development. Practicum/field experience hours: 150. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous coursework in the program.